World number one, Novak Djokovic eased past Karen Khachanov of Russia to reach the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship where he will play defending champion, Kevin Anderson, who defeated Rafael Nadal in the other semis played at the Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Khachanov, who defeated Djokovic in straight sets at the Paris Masters final a month ago, couldn’t get to grips with the Serb’s outstanding play as he was beaten 6-4, 6-2.
Elsewhere, Kevin Anderson came from a set down to beat Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and stay on track for a successful title-defense. It was Nadal’s first match since retiring in the semifinals of the US Open in September due to injury. And concerns have now been raised about his level of fitness after he announced that he will take no part in the third-place match against Karen Khachanov.
“I will not play [the third-place match], said Nadal. “I will take a couple of days off ahead of the new season.”
“This tournament, it was a goal to be here. I am very happy to have been here.”
The 17-time Grand Slam champion stated that getting fully fit is top priority as he wants to be in perfect shape for the Australian Open which begins in January.
“I want to do things step by step. I spent more time on the court than I thought,” he continued. “I am not making steps back, just steps forward all the time, taking care of my body after a while without having a chance to be on court and trying to do things slowly.
“It’s important for me to protect the body and to avoid tough circumstances. I know I have time to be ready for Melbourne at 100 per cent.”